Here's FXDB's interview with Christopher Venter of Shoe Pedals.
Shoe Pedals is a one person operation created and run by composer CJM Venter. It is located in Meriden, Connecticut, USA.
How did Shoe Pedals start?
I started many years ago by building a ESV Fuzz kit from Build Your Own Clone. It took me all day to figure out what I was doing and I said to myself, how the hell do people do this for a living? I sort of gave up on doing pedals for a while after that but I kept wanting pedals to do things they didn't really do. I started commissioning custom work from a few single person builders like Mellowtone and Young Pedals and I realized I really liked the design process, so after a lot of practice and research, I eventually was able to start doing all of the design and building myself.
My father and amp builder/tech Cono Fusco (Queens, NY) have probably been the biggest help in teaching me electronics. I am, by education, a Master in English and also in Interdisciplinary Humanities, so electronics is not something I went to school for. My dad, who is now a photographer, went to school for computer science and was a programmer for many years. He was trained in analog electronics as well and taught me a lot about the basic concepts growing up. When I started seeing how I could use them to make pedals these ideas made a lot more sense to me and I was finally able to ask the right questions to really understand how to use them to manipulate audio.
My friend and amp builder Cono Fusco has also been a great help. He's an excellent amp designer and, of course, works with tube-based technology and high voltage designs while I work in solid state and low voltage so the strategies are a bit different.
Besides that, my friend Derek Warwas is a great guitarist who knows a lot about different gear and is a very harsh and honest critic. He is often looking for a pedal to do something totally different from what I want it to do (and he has a much lower tolerance for noise/experimental sounds than I do) so his input is a big help in expanding my perspectives beyond the circle of sort of audio perverts I'm used to hanging out with.
Here's FXDB's interview with Jerry Ernst of JerroStomp.
JerroStomp is Jerry Ernst, Chief Cook & Bottle Washer, and is located in Rochester New York, USA.
How did JerroStomp start?
A prospective employer wanted someone with more of an electronics background so I decided to learn more about it and started with Arduino before finding BYOC kits, which looked a lot cooler than making LED's fade in and out. Over a few months I started studying and building from internet schematics.
I was referred by Prymaxe to Earthquaker Devices, in particular the Hoof Fuzz. With The Hoof I found what real tone could be, and I love its rich creamy throaty sound, reminiscent of Clapton on Disraeli Gears. That is still the standard I aspire to. My other big influence is Gary Sunda, who founded the short-lived Sunda Amplification before moving on to being a VP at Randall and other gigs. They made the Sunda Fuzz Sound in 1968,and I bought one of about 50 that they made. It was the only pedal I used for years. Once I got my feet wet in pedals I set out to approximate this pedal working from gut pictures found on the Effects Database and eventually got in touch with Mr. Sunda through his family's business, Orange County Speaker Repair. I sent Mr. Sunda the first working box and have his blessing on this project. I use his jacks in my semi-clone of his work and his GLS plugs in my patch cables. Tradition is good.
10 new brands
- Aul Instruments
- CabinFever Effects
- Chocolate Electronics
- GSi (Genuine Soundware and Instruments)
- Mogoo Music
- Sabbboy Custom Handmade Pedals
- Übermut Pedals
- Vintage Records
13 new effects
- Ares APT-10 Pedal Tuner
- Aul Instruments Fuzz
- GSi Burn - Programmable Rotary Simulator
- Jim Dunlop Cry Baby JC-95SE Jerry Cantrell Signature Wah
- Mooer Audio Mod Factory
- Mooer Audio Slow Engine
- Pedal Tank British Classic Overdrive - Mosfet Edition
- Pedal Tank Delicate Vintage Overdrive - Mosfet Edition
- Sabbboy Tone Bender MkII
- Shin's Music Dumbloid
- Vintage Records Dirty Bastard
- Vintage Records Polish Love
- Wren and Cuff Hangman-2D
Overviews of the previous weeks: http://www.effectsdatabase.com/updates/weekly
Discuss these updates at the forum: http://forum.effectsdatabase.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=220
Here's FXDB's interview with Tom George of Cog Effects.
Cog Effects is owned and run by Tom George in Sheffield, UK, and was formed in 2013.
How did Cog Effects start?
Cog Effects started when I found a lack of bass guitar oriented effects pedals that gave me the tones I was after in my band. It began initially with changes to existing pedals before building them from scratch with changes to allow more freedom over the tones that could be squeezed out. This general theme has carried on into Cog Effects, where a decent proportion of my business is in the form of custom orders to add further scope to the circuits I already offer in my stock range.
Internet helped me a lot: GEOFEX, AMZ and diystompboxes.com provide great resources for the DIY pedal builder, and builders such as SFX Sound, Ruz Guitar Gear and Frequency Central UK have put out pedals I have particularly admired.
Here's FXDB's interview with Steve Mavronis of Neo-Classic Effects.
Neo-Classic Effects is run by Steve N. Mavronis in Baltimore, Maryland USA.
How did Neo-Classic Effects start?
I got into the DIY world in January 2010 researching the vintage 'gray' DOD 250 Overdrive pedal and how it works. After many months of development I created my own unique PCB layout pattern using ExpressPCB and finished a stompbox based on the sound of the last 1979-1980 gray version. I called it the Neo-Classic 741 Overdrive. It represents a classic overdrive that's become very popular with guitar players of the Neoclassical Rock genre for its midrange 'Grail Tone' guitar leads. I learned that you don't have to pay high auction prices to get the same tone as a vintage original stompbox. Just build your own and it's easier than you would think! My first ever DIY project turned out so nice it encouraged me to build my Neo-Classic 3080 Compressor, based on the classic 'script' era MXR Dyna Comp pedal from the 1976-1977 era by referencing the factory schematic and as before the PCB part-to-part connections for an authentic recreation. I hand-built both pedal projects myself but my father Nicholas was a big help in transferring my PCB layout artwork to printed circuit boards that he also tinned for protection using his homemade electroplating rig. He also etched my aluminum photo-resist faceplates from my custom label artwork.
My first pedal builds would not have been possible without the help and support from experienced DIY'ers at web forums like DIYstompboxes. There are too many to name but I would like to thank them all.
Here's FXDB's interview with Jedrzej Lewandowski of Crushsound.
Crushsound is run and owned by architects Jedrzej Lewandowski (Le 2 Workshop) & Lilianna Prus who founded the company in 2011.
How did Crushsound start?
I had this pedal idea since I was 13. Back at the time I thought you just go to a music store and buy an effect that crushes your sound. Well, it turned out to be much more difficult than I thought. I became an architect but the idea had to be turned into reality. All in all I spent a small fortune on developing the idea by committing paid circuitry design to several people. Having tested several prototypes the production model was finally introduced in 2013. Now we are a good team of designers willing to develop the idea over time.
I guess we have inspired a lot of people ;)
Here's FXDB's interview with Johnny Sharp of Sharptone FX.
Sharptone FX is run by Johnny Sharp in North Devon, England.
How did Sharptone FX start?
I started developing an interest in electronics as a kid, probably 6 or seven years old. My grandfather who was an ex-RAF bomber pilot and radio engineer ran a radio and television shop after the war from 1948 to 1973. When he retired he brought home huge amounts of old electronics, valves, radios etc and as my grandparents lived next door, I was always playing about with all this old electronic stuff. It grew from there really. Fast forward a few years with an electromechanical engineering qualification and being a guitarist/musician I started up my own brand of effects.This was due to a lot of my music buddies always onto me to build them a AB box or custom overdrive, so I thought, hey I could make a living out of doing this. Officially I started building effects for friends back in the 1990's but it was in 2002 I started Sharptone with a website etc. I design and tweak all the circuits myself and improve old tried and tested ones and make them sound even better.
My grandfather inspired me a lot and so did my dad who was a science teacher, and always giving me batteries and bulbs to play with. He was also a great musician and taught me guitar from an early age. Charlie Watkins of WEM is also someone I've known for many years and he was over the moon with the new WEM Pep Box reissue I make for him. Charlie's life is an inspiration to anyone, and if anyone deserves to be knighted for services to the music business it's him without a doubt. He literally invented the PA system as we know it and the first to produce it on a big scale, the man is a living legend and deserves a lot more recognition than anyone I know in the music biz. Maybe you should do an interview with him? ;-)
Here's FXDB's interview with Agustin Arnaiz of Turkian Æffects.
Turkian Æffects is run by Agustin Arnaiz in Cordoba, the capital of Argentina.
How did Turkian Æffects start?
I built my own effects and functional pedals since I was a kid, then I went to the University (UTN) for six years and learned all about electronic. After that I worked in in the design department of a telecommunications company for six years. The next step was obvious: work and love.
I work mostly by myself, but super in touch with the musicians around me, especially the professional guitarist from my city, Julian Suarez, has helped me a lot to this day.
Here's FXDB's interview with Karim Boulbahri of Labo K Effects.
Labo K Effects is run by Karim Boulbahri in Montreuil, Île-de-France, France.
How did Labo K Effects start?
I started when I was 17 years old to build a pedal for myself. I worked for years as studio tech on Neve consoles and I serviced lots of pedals so I decided to build my own in 2009.
I was inspired by people like Roger Mayer, Rupert Neve,...